Tomorrow, March 4, 2021, at 9 a.m., the Board of Supervisors will review the Aramis Project. The hearing will be conducted online at this link:
The public will be allowed to make comments on the project. Please speak at the hearing, and click the green button above to contact the Supervisors and staff today. Please add a subject line, such as Reject the Aramis Solar Power Plant, and your name and city of residence to the end of your message.
Here is suggested text you can cut and paste into your email message:
Dear Board of Supervisors and County Officials:
I respectfully request that you reject the Aramis solar project for the following reasons:
1) The Aramis project will destroy North Livermore Valley’s scenic beauty. No method exists to hide or obscure the visual assault on the valley from the Aramis project’s 270,000+ eight-foot tall solar panels, new electrical substation, scores of lithium-ion battery stations, and overhead electrical transmission lines, some on towers reaching ten stories high.
These facts are not in dispute. The Final Environmental Impact Report found that the Aramis project will have “a substantial adverse effect on a scenic vista.” Even with landscaping, the report concluded that the adverse aesthetic impact remains “significant and unavoidable.”
2) The Aramis project will obliterate hundreds of acres of habitat for numerous threatened species including the California tiger salamander, California red-legged frog and Western burrowing owl. The agricultural land also serves as a wildlife corridor among nature preserves in and surrounding North Livermore Valley that are critical to maintaining the biodiversity of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
3) The Aramis project violates Measure D. Under voter-approved Measure D, the agricultural lands of Alameda County, including North Livermore, are to be preserved, enhanced and protected from “excessive, badly located and harmful development.” Commercial electricity power generation and the industrial storage of electrical energy are not agricultural uses of the land.
4) Other, environmentally superior, ways exist to generate greater renewable energy. Alameda County can generate much greater renewable energy than the Aramis project while preserving its agricultural land by promoting the installation of solar panels on rooftops of home and businesses, over parking lots and next to freeways.
5) Alameda County should complete a comprehensive solar policy first. The county should do what Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties have already done: determine which areas of the county are appropriate for industrial solar facilities and only allow solar plants in those areas that pose the least conflict with open space, agricultural land, natural habitat and scenic resources.
However, even without such a policy in place, it is clear that North Livermore Valley is not the location where the county should first allow the construction of utility scale solar facilities.
In conclusion, North Livermore Valley is designated as an agricultural district and should remain one.